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Pecan theft in Mississippi could now result in at least 30 days in jail

(Photo by MSU Extension Service/Michaela Parker)

Pecan farmers in Mississippi will now be able to crack down on pecan thefts after Governor Tate Reeves’ approval of Senate Bill 2523.

The bill, which would “revise the criminal and civil penalties for violating the provisions of the pecan harvesting law,” was signed by the governor on Tuesday.

According to the bill’s text, tougher penalties will now be given to those who steal pecans during harvesting season, which spans from September 1 to January 31.

Those found guilty of stealing pecans would be charged with a misdemeanor and will be fined less than $100 or be imprisoned for at least 30 days, or both.

Any pecans that are found on a public road, street, or highway right-of-way during portions of the year that are not in harvesting season will be considered as “abandoned by the owner,” and can be picked up.

In addition, SB 2523 would require “restitution to be made to the owner of the severed pecans,” whether it be through money or pecans.

Similar bills made it through the Senate during the 2021 and 2022 sessions before dying on the calendar in the House.

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